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A poignant voyage of discovery down the great Mississippi.
Praised by such authors as John Barth, and George V. Higgins, Dan Spurr's gently powerful memoir, Steered by the Falling Stars, captured the hearts of readers with its story of death, rebirth, and redemption and its evocative description of life under sail. Now, Spurr takes us on another adventure, a voyage into not only the heartland of contemporary America but also back into the rough and ready days of exploration and discovery 250 years ago.
Following the trail of the enigmatic French explorer Rene de La Salle, Spurr takes his seven-year-old son Steve and his grown daughter Adriana down the Mississippi from Chicago to New Orleans in the rundown, underpowered Belle. Throughout the journey, the juxtaposition of modern America on the river's banks and the untamed wilds of La Salle's day, as revealed through journals and historical documents, illuminates the changes in the land and its people over the intervening centuries.
The inexorable flow of Spurr's clean and honest prose mirrors that of this greatest of American rivers. The voices of the river's denizens and the keen observations of the author's young and wide-eyed shipmates take us deep into the heart of an ever-changing American landscape.
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The Mississippi, winding brown spine of America, provides the backbone of this elegiac book by writer and boating enthusiast Daniel Spurr. In simple, forthright language, his River of Forgotten Days intertwines the bittersweet tale of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle--who, in the 17th century, became the first European to navigate the length of the Big Muddy--with the author's own adventures on the Mississippi in a homely but durable fishing boat named Pearl.
Much like the river, Spurr's prose flows at its own pace, shifting rhythmically between the historical facts (so far as they are known) of LaSalle's journey and Spurr's own pilgrimage, born of a childhood fascination with both La Salle and the untamed "pre-American" wilderness that seduced--and often destroyed--early European explorers. Accompanied by his seven-year-old son (whom he hopes to wean, if only temporarily, from his Game Boy), Spurr searches out touchstones of La Salle's epic voyage. Some are unspoiled enough to induce reveries of ghostly wolf packs and buffalo-darkened plains; most are soulless suburban outposts offering only cracked asphalt and empty beer cans.
All is not lost, however; River of Forgotten Days brings to life a true American icon, a still-powerful river where, despite levees stretching from Illinois to the Delta, a whiff of pre-America remains for those who care to seek it out. And, especially important for those of us who live far from the mighty Mississippi, Spurr's book includes photographs and illustrations of both the river and the historical sites and people associated with it. --Rebecca GleasonAbout the Author:
Daniel Spurr is the editor of Practical Sailor magazine and was former senior editor of Cruising World. He is the author of Steered by the Falling Stars, as well as of two instructional sailing books, and lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
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Book Description Henry Holt and Co., 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New. 100% Money Back Guarantee! Ships within 1 business day, includes tracking. Carefully packed. Serving satisfied customers since 1987. Seller Inventory # 119654
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